The Big 5: No headway yet as ASUU-FG meeting ends; Atiku says soldiers were killed while Service chiefs were at Buhari’s campaign | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday called for an open investigation into the handling of military funds to unravel those benefitting from the alleged racket especially for those close to the President.

Accusing the Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali of diverting funds meant for military equipment and the welfare of troops fighting insurgency in the North-East to produce an electronic momento book, on which the APC logo alongside that of the Defence Ministry were allegedly ascribed, the party said it confirms its (PDP) position that the President had compromised the national Defence architecture for his re-election project.

This comes as the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, regretted that the soldiers killed by Boko Haram were killed on the day the nation’s service chiefs were attending the inauguration of the President’s re-election campaign, “Next Level.”

The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) aimed at resolving the ongoing nationwide strike on Monday ended without a resolution.

National President of the Union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi who spoke with newsmen at the end of the over 3-hours meeting, said another date has been scheduled for the continuation of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action in transmitting an executive bill for the implementation of the N30,000 national minimum wage.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba who made the appeal in Abuja on Monday, said that the workers are now running out of patience on this implementation of the new wage, while dismissing speculations that the increased wage bill would lead to a rise in inflation.

Wanna also berated some governors who he said are opposed to new minimum wage, “but are spending billions of dollars in the name of security votes which they can’t account for.”

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on Monday said that three of the country’s planned 40 modular refineries would likely come on stream by 2019.

The Minister made this known at a conference organised by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Lagos, adding that only 10 of the 40 companies issued licenses have submitted their programnes and put something on ground.

He further said that with the coming on stream of the Dangote Petrochemical refinery, Nigeria’s four refineries and the three modular refineries, the country’s refinery capacity will reach 1.1 million barrels per day in 2020.

The British Government says it has no preferred candidate in the Nigerian 2019 Presidential election.

Political adviser to the British Deputy Commissioner to Nigeria, Wale Adebajo disclosed this on Monday at a public forum in Ado Ekiti.

“We want to clear the air that the British government is not supporting any candidate in the election. We are neutral when it comes to election in Nigeria,” he said.

And stories from around the world:

U.S President, Donald Trump has suggested that Theresa May’s Brexit agreement could threaten a US-UK trade deal.

He told reporters that the withdrawal agreement “sounds like a great deal for the European Union” and meant the UK might not be able to trade with the US. (BBC)

Similarly, Trump on Monday said he expected to move ahead with raising tarriffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 2.5 percent from the current 10 percent and repeated his threat to slap tarriffs on all  remaining imports from China. (Reuters)

Dozens of Tunisians gathered on the capital’s main avenue to protest a planned visit by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. (Al Jazeera)

Mexico deported scores of Central American migrants arrested after hundreds forced their way through a Mexican police blockade and headed for the United States, but were met with tear gas and rubber bullets. (AFP)

Countries must hit China with sanctions over the mass detention of ethnic Uighurs in it’s western Xinjiang region, hundreds of scholars said on Monday, warning that a failure to act would signal acceptance of “psychological torture of innocent civilians.” (Reuters)

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